Country crooners celebrate 30 years
The Matamata Country Music Club celebrated its 30th birthday at the RSA clubrooms last weekend as members shared their most memorable moments.
Kath Macdonald remembers the day she joined the club and said it had been an unforgettable journey ever since.
She and her husband Vern joined in 1984, nearly three years after it started in 1981, and remain the club’s longest serving members. Although neither of them plays an instrument, they both share the love of country music.
‘‘Vern joined up, then soon I joined and we started helping out on the committee and organising events,’’ she said. ‘‘They call me the carer now because I still help out with a lot of things.’’ Mr Macdonald was elected vicepresident in 1996 and remained in that position for three years.
The club meets every third Friday at the Matamata Primary School hall and has done since the beginning.
Mrs Macdonald said her fondest memories came from the many weekends spent travelling with performers to various clubs in New Zealand, including Thames and Gisborne, to take part in shows.
‘‘They were very good weekends.
‘‘ We have met so many people and even though some of our friends have passed on now, we still have many memories,’’ she said.
‘‘They used to call me the social butterfly and that was the reason I loved going for so long – it was a chance to make friends and have fun.’’
Well known singers Ashley Cooper, Mike McKinlay and Melissa Daisley all started out as young artists in the Matamata Country Music Club and have gone on to perform throughout New Zealand.
Over the years the club has become known for its Red Star Awards which are held annually. This is a competition for talented under-18 year olds to perform on stage and the winners go on to compete in Entertainer of the Year. ‘‘ We used to do a lot for the kids – they were an important part of our club and still are,’’ Mrs Macdonald said.
History: Kath Macdonald has many fond memories of her time in the Matamata Country Music club including when members of the club performed at the Morrinsville Club Spectacular show in the early 90s.